Fixing Your Crap Registration Forms!


Registrations forms are a pain in the backside, if its not forcing me to enter a password twice and it not asking me for information that you don’t need then it’s probably that stupid squinty captcha text that is either really easy (and a waste of time) or its so complicated that actually even with all the might of Google servers you couldn’t solve it. Either way you can probably see that I hate registration forms, and forms in general, which are long – complicated – annoying – unhelpful – meaningless and well, insert more adjectives here.

The challenge of fixing the world of crap web forms for a better user experience, whilst maintaining the level of data required by a company (for business or legal reasons) isn’t an easy one. It is something I take on, on a regular basis – in particular I look to remove hurdles and time wasting fields – for example asking for a password twice, or masking it by default, simply ask for it once with a show / hide icon if you are a fan of security by slight obscurity. Other hurdles include asking for data you simply don’t need, for example unless there is a good case (for example sending a birthday treat) then usually there isn’t a need to collect a persons date of birth for them buying a pizza from your website – collect it later when the customer is logged in, use a pop up and increase engagement with the account page. The list of annoyances for a user within your web form maybe huge, but one of the biggest annoyances is when a form does not have “on-the-fly validation” or help, so when someone enters an email use javascript to check it, when someone enters a password use javascript to check its strength, little ticks make a user feel happy and compelled to continue.

But the challenge with registration forms doesn’t stop there, and thats where Customer Profile Based Solutions company Janrain excel hugely. Whilst looking around their blog to see what i could learn I found this great infographic on registration forms and the reality of them. Some of the figures are amazing.

Fixing Your Crap Registration Forms!

Fixing Your Crap Registration Forms!

better user experiencecheck out formscheckout formscontact formsinfographicregistration formsweb forms

  • Brian Martinn

    I have to admit when I scaled down the registration process from four steps to one step conversion rate went up I was finding that more and more people were going through the steps but were bouncing at the most important stage. After scaling down to one page users could see exactly what they had to do and conversion went up. The problem occurred getting them to login and finish their profile off. It also helps determine the interested from the disinterested party and sort out high quality and low quality leads. Webmasters might also find Ajax an interesting aspect of forms pushing the data to MySQL to automatically follow-up on leads that bounced but filled in half a form.

    • Andy Kinsey

      Having information returned to the user as they complete the form (as i say even just a tick will do) makes the user feel happier and means they are more likely to compelte the form. Thanks for your input Brian

  • austenselby

    Hi Andy,
    really true..the registeration process some times make us to not continue register in any sites especially when it comes to captcha code I get bored as only after 2 to 3 times it is correct. I thnk after reading your post if the things you said is implemented,all the users will be benifited.

    Thanks for sharing your awsome ideas…Keep posting